Cannibalism ( Birds Biting Each Other ) happens, because of poor management and poor feed quality given to poultry birds. When birds become stressed and bird start begins picking the feathers, comb, toes or vent of another bird.
Open wound or blood is visible on the bird, it attract bird to bite another bird.
If the problem happen to many birds, this become habit poultry bird and this habit rapidly spread through the entire flock and it become difficult to eliminate.
So the precaution you must take care in your flock.First you should know the reason, than you can stop this problem easily and can handle if problem already happened.
Why birds are biting each other .
Shortage of feeder and Drinkers-If the birds have to fight for food and water, or if the birds are always hungry they will increase pecking. For 1000 birds 25 feeder and drinkers is good idea. In Summer in Hot area use 30 Drinkers instead of 25 Drinkers for 1000 poultry birds for birds more than 1 Kg.
Large breeds of chickens should be allowed:
Space .20-.25 ( ¼ ) sq. ft./bird for first weeks
And keep increasing the space till 1 broiler bird / 1 square feet. ( In Summer in Hot area 1.2 square feet for 1 bird.
Extra Heat- Some people make mistake while maintaining temperature, they make it over 95° F.
if the birds become uncomfortably hot they can bite each other. Brooding temperature y to chicks at 95°F in the first week and then decrease the temperature 5°F. per week, until you reach 70°F.
Extra light-Some Poultry farmers use 200 watt bulb , it give stress to poultry birds. Never give extra light to Broiler birds more than 20 hours per day.
High energy and low fiber diets cause the birds to be extra active and aggressive. Feed lacking protein and other nutrients, particularly Methionine will also cause birds to pick feathers/ or bite each other.
If you plan to move young birds to a new shed, it is best to move some of their feeders and waterers with them in order to help them adapt.
Never Allow injured or dead birds with healthy birds. Other birds will bite them and if become habit ,pecking will become severe.
Slow feathering birds are most prone to pecking Take extra precautions with slow feathering birds as mentioned above.
If problem of pecking is already in your farm than try to cross check, which mistake you are making in your poultry farm. Try to cover that and the birds , which are injured make them separate. Keep the light dim and give multivitamins to your poultry birds .
I hope this will cover this issue of pecking and in future this problem will not come to your farm , if you follow the right method.